On Marriage – Two Weeks In

Last week, talking to a dear friend on the phone, I started a sentence with, “Having been married a week, now…”. She laughed and said I should put that in a blog, so here we are. Although, I have now been married two weeks, and therefore have double the wisdom to impart. Ha, ha.

Thinking about marriage often overwhelms me. Although I am very clear about what marriage means to me, I also, at times, feel like a little salmon in a big stream, trying to make sense of the water. This is not to say that I dislike marriage at all, quite the contrary. If marriage were a movie, I would give it two thumbs up. But I cannot shake the feeling that I’m in the midst of something I cannot fully comprehend, beyond my control.

I do feel different now that I’m married. I didn’t really expect to. Yes, I knew I was making a decision that would change my life irrevocably, but I assumed the changes would mostly be external; like living together, making major purchases together. I didn’t really expect to feel different inside. But like this fabulous blogger, I do. I’ve found a sense of peace and grounding in me that I’ve never experienced before.

I wonder if part of it has to do with knowing how this bit of the story ends. I’ve probably been wondering since the age of four if I would marry, who I would marry, and now those questions have been answered. And there is real satisfaction in that.

Also, since my LH (Loving Husband) and I did not live together before, being married and co-habitating bring delicious new joys. I wake up with a sweet, poignant gratitude to find him beside me.  I want to pounce on him as soon as one of us gets home from work. I love it all; making breakfast together, leaving for work together, watching funny dog videos together. My dad, while visiting us for the wedding, said something like “well Blackberry Honey, now you have a friend to share your life with”. And that’s very much how I feel. I suspect that those of you who have been married for many years may want to pat me on my head and grin at my newlywed enthusiasm,  but it is my hope that some careful tending of these joys will help them to last for a very, very long time. I am fully determined to be “one of those couples” who are just as happy on their fiftieth wedding anniversary as on their wedding day. Maybe even more so.

Finally, there’s just something powerful about holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes, and promising (in front of other people) to do your very best to honour your love and devotion to each other, and to bring the best parts of yourself to the other. There may be challenges, I know that. I understand that this marriage will be built on choices that each of us will make every single moment. But having made those promises, I feel called upon to learn and grow from difficult situations instead of leaving the room, and there is a tremendous sense of safety in knowing that my LH will do his very best to do the same.

Did you feel different after you got married? Any advice from those who have a little more experience in this field?

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23 thoughts on “On Marriage – Two Weeks In

  1. First of all, Congratulations! I love reading about the giddiness and freshness of it all–It makes me feel vicariously giddy. My husband is the only partner I’ve ever lived with and I can remember the novelty and comfort of those early days of cohabitation (five years before we married). It is wonderful, as your dad so aptly states, to have a friend to share your life with. I may have focused a lot on my fears surrounding marriage in that post, but I’ve discovered so many joys on the road to commitment. I hope you discover many (more) for yourself. Revel in every bit of that newness and love.

    • Thank you for those lovely wishes! And I’m glad that I can spread a little giddiness around. 🙂

      My parents split up when I was a kid, and so I really related to your post. I also really appreciated this sentence “I say sorry even though I may not really mean it: I’ve found that kind words have an uncanny way of becoming true the moment they pass your lips.” I have a feeling I’ll hang on to that little bit of wisdom on my road.

      I do know, too, that commitment can be complicated and messy, as you say. And I’m glad that you’ve found so much joy in your path, and thank you for your wish that I might find some too!

  2. I will write more later. No patting on your head, because I still feel that way today about my husband. we watch funny dog videos too! And sometimes you will still want to leave the room after a fight, and so will he, but when you’re married you have some kind of odd insurance that as you step out, you know, thankfully, you know, you will be coming right back.

    I’m curious to hear what our other married folks (or common law) folks will say about the change. I lived with DH for 6 years before we got married, we had worked through a lot of stuff by the time we said I do, and our wedding was as much about everyone who was there on that day as it was for us, which is not often how it is I think. We just laughed at our new job titles. We found the difference was less between us and more among how we were seen by others. Others took our commitment more seriously than they did before. I remember people at husband’s work treated him more seriously, like a stable man now. Two other things- uh, people will start talking about children, the typical next chapter of said story according to all the fairytales. And the other, (I just asked DH what he thought was different), if you are wearing a ring, he found the ring oddly irritating. Physically, he’d twist it around, play with it, his new appendage (!). It took about half a year before he got used to that ring. Now, he can’t get it off!

    my only advice is marriage might be an institution, and in some ways it is an end to a story, but that story keeps on rolling, and don’t let all it’s baggage and history and myths and rules and pressure overwhelm the truth that really, it’s just two people who are in love, your best friend,(as your dad aptly said) for the rest of your life.

    congrats!

    • There was a time that I would have scoffed at watching dog videos, but I love it now, and am glad we’re not the only ones! 🙂

      Also, I’m so glad to hear that you still feel that way about your husband. It’s heartening to know it’s possible for that love to stay (and keep growing, I’m sure).

      I love that you call “husband” and “wife” job titles! And yes, it makes sense that for you, the differences would have been mostly external.

      Yes, people do treat us differently now. Both of us have had reminders from people to “think of your husband/wife now”. And the kid questions started the very next day!

      And thank you for all your support and good wishes!

  3. Congratulations on the first two blissful weeks!
    I know that there are a lot of Debbie Downers out there, but I am not one of them and I ADORE being married! I, too, felt completely and unexpectedly different right away, and it’s wonderful.
    I have no sage advice, but now that we’re approaching three years of a fabulous loving marriage, I can assure you that this feeling can totally last. It’s not just the “honeymoon stage” that people love to dismiss it as. It’s marriage, it’s love, and it’s awesome.

    • Thank you so much! It’s so reassuring to hear that the “honeymoon stage” can be so much more. And I love that you adore being married!

      Congratulations on your almost three years! 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your marriage! Having not lived together before, I imagine there would be a lot to adjust too, but very exciting and wonderful indeed! I always knew marriage was for me and couldn’t wait to find the right partner to embark on the journey with. My now husband and I had lived together for three and a half years before we got married, so that teamed with always being a marriage advocate, made me think nothing would feel different after it. I was wrong! I felt differently too, in a good way though, like we instantly became even more deeply connected with eachother. We’ve been married 18 months now.

    • Congratulations on your 18 months! And how lovely to be surprised by that feeling of deeper connection, even after having lived together for three years. Marriage is a wonderful, mysterious thing. 🙂

  5. Great Post! I felt weird for about 4 to 6 weeks after getting married, you eventually adjust and before you know it the 1st year has come and gone than 7 years. It is an AMAZING Journey, EMBRACE It, Lean on the Marrieds and Each Other through the adjustment periods and before you know it you will be looking back and laughing about it!!! Happy Thursday:)

  6. Lovely post. I’ve been married for just over three years and we’ve lving together for ten. I did find that marriage felt different – peaceful and secure and it let me get rid of a selfishness that I had forced on myself. I am still very much in love with my husband and having him as such a major part of my life feels like such a blessing for my happiness and also my sanity. (We somehow never seem to have our panic attacks at the same time, so one of us is always able to get the other one through it.)

    I know marriage isn’t a guarantee against anything, but I took the committment of it seriously and it changed all of my “I plans” to “we plans,” from finances to vacations to career and education decisions. I think about what will be best for us together, both now and in the distant future, not just what is best for me.

    • Thanks so much for your comments. I read once that Joseph Campbell said that in a marriage, the marriage itself becomes an important entity that both individuals need to give to/make decisions about, etc. to keep it alive. What is best for the marriage ultimately needs to become the important factor to consider. It sounds to me like that’s what you’re doing. And it’s nice to hear that you’re still so happy!

  7. Oh, BH! A girl after my own heart. Firstly, congratulations, of course! And thank you for posting on my most favorite topic. I think it is a complicated thing to be, as they say, a blushing bride, just giddy about her new hubby and new married life, and I applaud you for so unabashedly shouting it from the mountaintops.

    I totally relate to your sense that you’ve entered into a somewhat mysterious ‘married’ state. Marriage means and doesn’t mean so many things, comes with so many (as BeZ says) myths and rules and stories, that it can be overwhelming to tease out just what you want it to mean and do for you. It’s a strange and fascinating subject, I think.

    I did feel different when I got married. I too expected the changes to feel mostly ‘external,’ even though my husband and I had already lived together for a little over a year and hadn’t spent many nights apart in almost five. But I did feel a surprising sense of continuity– a sense that this man would share life with me — and I felt it on a basic level, in the old part of my brain, in my body. That was different and entirely new for me.

    • Yes – interesting you say that you felt it in the “old part” of your brain. I know what you mean – like some old part of me relates to the words “husband” and “wife” in a very specific way.

      And you’re right – it is a fascinating subject!

  8. BH – I must admit that I have no words of wisdom on what to expect in married life, but I have to say that I am so happy to be a pleased observer of your current happiness. You just glow with it! I am a lover of adventure and marriage to me seems like a great opportunity for adventure, with a built in travel partner. Kick high.

  9. Shame on me for not commenting sooner. Firstly, Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your adoration and happiness – it is contagious!
    As for marriage, do you think the age at which you get married affects how it feels? I mean, I was married so young – I just wasn’t smart enough or worldly enough to give it too much thought. Or maybe it was that being the first of my friends to get married just made it obvious that it was something different and that I should feel different.

    I like that you say you are determined to be as happy on your fiftieth as you are on your wedding day because I really believe that a good marriage takes determination. Not the dogged, ‘I will make this work or else!’ kind of determination; but the ‘Our happiness is worth this effort’ kind of determination.

    • Now it’s my turn to apologize for the wait to reply!

      I do think the age you get married must affect how you feel about it. By my age, I’ve known quite a few people who lived together first who say that nothing changed after getting married, or people who have lived together for years and don’t get married because it doesn’t make sense to them. I guess I started to see it more as a celebration of love, rather than a rite of passage – if that makes any sense.

      And I love your thoughts on determination “our happiness is worth the effort”. Thanks!

  10. Congratulations! I too have been married for two weeks. I feel many of the same feelings as you felt as a newly married woman. The moment I said I do to my husband something immediately happened to me. I felt this sense of deep…insatiable love, safety, and comfort. We dated for 2 years and 6 months before we were married. I lived with my husband 10 months before we were married. So we were able to get those early living together kinks out, but funny enough since we became married I am looking forward to working out the married kinks. I am so looking forward to what is next for me and my husband. I never thought I could love someone as deeply as I love my husband and it feels so good. It is this type of loving that keeps me smiling every-time I think about him….which seems like every minute! 🙂

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